Three Premier League teams on verge of incredible achievement which has only happened twice before

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IT IS hard to remember a year where so many clubs have been involved in a relegation scrap.

From Everton in ninth place downwards, surely no-one can count themselves completely safe if even Sam Allardyce admits there are still some nerves around Goodison Park.

West Brom are six points adrift at the bottom but from 19th up to ninth only eight points separate the bottom clutch of clubs and the desperate fight to stay in the Premier League.

It is incredibly tight, very difficult to separate the clubs and it promises to go right to the wire as to which three clubs will go down.

But one unusual part of the season is the fate of the three promoted clubs: Brighton, Newcastle and Huddersfield.

Newcastle are currently in 15th and, while they are far from safe, they are not in the drop zone while Brighton are 12th and Huddersfield 14th.

Incredibly, only twice in the history of the Premier League have all three promoted clubs stayed up so the omens do not look good.

Fulham, Bolton and Blackburn survived in 2001-02 and, a decade later, when QPR, Norwich and Swansea also beat the drop in 2011-12.

The one and only time when all three promoted clubs went down was in the 1997/98 season and it is hard to see that piece of history repeating itself this year with West Brom rooted to the bottom.

But the three clubs deserve so much credit for different reasons. Brighton are pushing ever closer to safety, their worries about a lack of goals being balanced out by Chris Hughton building a strong and hard-to-beat side.

Lewis Dunk has been terrific in defence, his form has earned a few whispers about him deserving an England call-up and Glenn Murray has suddenly found some goalscoring form.

Huddersfield really looked up against it and yet manager David Wagner has built a dressing room which is strong, unified and feeds from the energy of the incredible support.

They won at West Brom last Saturday, it felt like a six pointer and those sort of wins take mental strength. His achievement so far has been outstanding.

Newcastle is a soap opera and you wonder if Rafa Benitez will stay beyond this summer with the club’s ownership still in doubt. But Newcastle have a top class manager with the experience to keep them up.

All of this points towards the gap of quality closing between the Championship and the top flight which must be a good thing because everyone wants to be in the Premier League and it no longer looks like the impossible dream.

It will certainly give the likes of Wolves and Cardiff a lot of hope.


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